The past few days I have been a little less than impressed with the outpouring of negativity over the excited response of Seahawk Richard Sherman, only moments after an absolutely phenomenal play that sends his team to the Super Bowl. Endless rubbish that I suppose only the least self-aware and honestly introspective might throw. (As if they themselves have never screamed at the TV, “Yea, baby, take that! We’re the best!!” Highlight the fact that they are watching from the cheap seats). I have wondered if we are more upset about him stating he’s the best (umm…Muhammad Ali), that he was loud (really??), or that poor Erin was unprepared as to how to respond to anything other than the cliche, “Yippee! We won!” (I was personally completely thrilled to see him elicit such a dumbfounded response – it was brilliant).
It’s so much more telling of the character and focus of the fans than of him.
Bigger still, is now the endless videos of 49er fans/players and their antics. I liken it to how my 8 and 4-year-old use all they have to try and prove who’s misguided word or action is worse. We all like to point fingers, don’t we??
What I personally took to heart was the humanity of the game. That was a rough match. Lots of aggression, lots of hard hits, many injuries. I love that Sherman had so much concern for the fallen 49er (while the rest of us gawked at his knee bending in directions no knee should bend). I love that Seahawk Quarterback Russell Wilson said it was a “blessing” to be in this position. And I was absolutely broken by 49er QB Kaepernick’s post-game interview.
(Seahawk fans, get over yourselves for one second and really hear this).
Rarely in my life have I seen a man so broken. I mean really broken. Men who have come to their knees through addiction, or adultery, or abuse, experience such pain. But truly, never have I witnessed such a profound expression of emotion following the loss of a game. Kaepernick took full responsibility for their loss, stating he “wasn’t good enough” to get the job done.
All I could think is that this young man has nothing bigger than himself to believe in.
Allow that to sink in. Really marinate. He is a highly skilled, extremely successful athlete, playing the sport he loves as a J.O.B., has money, things, popularity and notoriety, and yet this loss brings absolute devastation. It would be beneficial to you to watch that interview, largely because it will move you to great compassion (well, at least it should).
At the end of the day, we all need to know who we really are. To find our value. It’s not enough to achieve; we each have the unique capacity to make a contribution to those in our lives, to our communities, even the world. If we are not yet aware of our purpose in life, we have nothing. Truly.
Pray for him. Pray for our young men. All of them. Soften your heart for those you “think” you know because they circulate in public circles. Pray for your coworkers and children and neighbors. We are all in this together.
Which brings me back to my first point. As people, it’s so easy to sit back, cast stones, pass judgement, and be critical. We pick apart celebrity actions and Facebook friends’ posts. We throw around words about strangers that only a close relationship could reveal, and very rarely choose to really evaluate before we opt for a knee-jerk reaction. These are PEOPLE. They are our NEIGHBORS. They are human beings with ideas, thoughts and emotions. They are not whipping boys subject to our own whims and insecurities. To not realize the implications of such intimate connection is absolutely tragic.